Monday, July 13, 2009

I'm a girly girl

and this is not my hobby!
What's up with my summer? First I had to go fishing with the guys and now I'm blasting away at a target with a 9mm handgun and a .22 rifle. (didn't get pictures of that one)

I believe every American should have the right to own a gun so he or she can hunt and defend his or her family and self. I also believe that if you have a gun, you should know how to use it, and you should use it with great wisdom, care, and common sense.

Now this gun belongs to my husband, not me. Personally, I think I could have gone the rest of my life without learning to shoot a gun and I'd be happy. But Rick insisted I go shoot with him. So I did.

I did alright learning to use my hubby's new gun. The arthritis in my thumbs makes it hard for me to cock it for firing, but I figure that if I ever have to use it to defend myself, adrenalin will rush to my aid. As far as hitting the target--I did okay there too. I didn't hit the mark perfectly, but I got very close. If an attacker were as near as 30 yards away, I could do some serious damage.

But this post is not about the right to bare arms or my eagle-eye aim. It's about hobbies.

Like a kid in a candy shop, after purchasing the gun, my husband grabbed up bullets, hearing protectors, more bullets, a cleaning kit, some more bullets, eye protectors (both the clear and sunshade kind), another box of bullets, a carrying pouch, and...oh yes, some bullets. Rick is not the violent type, and the boyish glee with which he clutched his new belongings told me the man may be developing a new hobby.

I know some people do shoot guns as a hobby and that's great. I enjoyed the brief challenge of trying to hit the X in the middle of the target, but standing out in the bright sun and 100+ temperature didn't make it to the top spot on my fun list. I'm a girly girl and I like to cross stitch, crochet, read, bake--you know--less aggressive, less competitive activities.

Yet I found myself accompanying my husband while he had a blast--literally. Sharing hobbies is one of those things that help to build a lasting marriage and make life together fun. Shooting with Rick was a good thing, and it has put my mind to thinking...

The next time I buy some new cross stitch needles or a crochet hook and yarn, I think I'll insist that hubby learn how to use them.

I have to go now, I think I hear someone laughing at me.

Monday, July 6, 2009

June ended and it's July already...

June was a busy month. Visits with friends and family, appointments with various doctors, and lots of playing with the granddaughters filled our days. We even took a few days to escape the Texas heat and vacationed at the family cabin in Ute Park, NM.

We had the usual early-morning visitors—deer and wild turkey.

The buzz of hummingbirds and wind whispering through the pines always makes me smile.

While Rick and his dad did a lot of fishing, his mom and I did lots of resting and chatting.

I was included in one day of fishing though. The guys thought it a good idea to take me along when they went out on Eagle Nest Lake. The more people fishing, the more fish you can bring home. Together the three of us had a limit of fifteen fish. All I had to do was buy a license and sit on the boat and hold a pole.

So, I got up before six o’clock in the morning, slathered on sunscreen, put on a goofy looking cap and my sunglasses, and took my seat on the pontoon boat. The rented boat came with a nice fishing guide who tied on my lures, baited my hooks, and made sure I was set for a good time. I told him I was just there to hold a pole. He promised I would catch some fish.

Sure enough—I caught fish. This pole holder snagged the first fish of the day, a salmon. I ended up catching two salmon and one rainbow trout. My trout was—well—I hate to brag, but it was the BIGGEST catch of the day! Woo Hoo! (I hooked three others that got away, but that might be a tale for another day.)

Now I really am just a pole holder, not a fisherman, so had it not been for the coaching of our guide I might have never gotten this big boy in the boat. But I did get it in the boat (after a good struggle), and it alone fed five people come supper time.

We ended up one short of our limit, but we got off the lake before the rain moved in.

When it was all said and done, I was glad I got up before the sun peeked over the mountain, and I’m glad I went fishing with the guys. I think I may have discovered a new skill. I’ll never know for sure because hubby and his father did a lot more fishing after that, but they left me at home.

After only a few days back at home we drove the opposite direction all the way to Houston for the 4th of July weekend to visit more family. We endured greater than 100 degree temperatures but had a very enjoyable visit. Another 10 hour day on the road and we are home again. Whew!

Tomorrow hubby is having cataract surgery. As soon as we get the okay from the doctor, we will be ready to go back to work, so your prayers for the surgery, recovery, and a good storm is appreciated.

With all that we've been doing, I wonder where the summer has gone!

Thursday, July 2, 2009

The Scenic Trip Home

We headed east toward Asheville, NC in the heart of the Blue Ridge Mountains. Our campground was up a steep winding mountain road. The truck roared and I prayed all the way up the mountain. When we got to the top...

the view took my breath away. Mountain ridges as far as the eye can see and the French Broad River (near flood stage) below. This, my friends, is my idea of vacation--just sittin' and soakin' in God's creation. That's the love of my mortal life in the foreground.
The sun began to set, Rick's blood pressure started to drop, and those fried nerves started to heal.
Take a deep breath. The air is cool and the smell of the forest sedates the mind. Ahhhh.
After a good night's sleep in the cool mountain air, we visited the Biltmore Manor in Asheville. I have a lot more pictures but they all bring about the same response--wow! Dubbed the largest home in America, this property is almost beyond belief considering the time period of its construction. Follow the link above and at least read about it and if you get the chance to go to North Carolina, make sure to put this on your list of things to see and do! It is a spectacular show of great wealth and ingenuity. (I want the Winter Garden Room in my house.)

Those of you who keep up with me on Face Book know about my fall down the stairs outside the winery. It is my opinion that they should have let it remain a dairy instead of turning it into a place of spirits. Now for my readers that didn't know that I hurt myself very badly trying to take four stairs in one stride, I DID NOT SAMPLE THE WINE!!!

I simply admired some flowers I passed by until they were so far behind me that I was doing the owl thing. You try turning your head all the way around so you can see where you've been instead of where you are going and experience what happens when a flight of stairs happens to be in your path.

I really do think I cracked the bone in my leg, but I'm a hearty woman, so I've endured without an expensive visit to the doctor. Now, a month later I still have a swollen knot, some bruising is still visible, and "tender to the touch" still is an understatement. But I'm so much better now, I hardly complain any more at all.

The day after my trip at the Biltmore, we took a drive along a part of the Blue Ridge Parkway.

Our travels have taken me many places. A few of those places are so beautiful that they almost bring tears to my eyes and make me want to stand up and sing "America the Beautiful." The Blue Ridge Parkway is one of those places. God's handy work (in my opinion) puts the Biltmore to shame. I took a couple hundred pictures. I'll only share a few. (I know, you are so thankful!)Can you believe I hiked out there on those rocks with my banged up leg? I told you I'm hearty. And I wanted to be close to the falling water really bad! I payed for it the next day, but it was worth it!

(One of these days I'm going to put some more of my Blue Ridge pictures on my sidebar as puzzles. Watch for them.)

We did a little more looking around Asheville and found it to be a city of artists. If you like galleries and studios and the artsy type, Asheville is a good place to go. Art galleries are something I can enjoy for a little while, then all those painting and sculptures start to look alike. Good thing we needed to head on back to Texas.
There's no place like home--where the sun bakes ya, the wind blows ya, and the grandchildren give ya lots of hugs and kisses!